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Gospel Music Channel, the nation’s first and only 24/7 all-gospel/Christian music television network, will become the exclusive television home for the GMA Dove Awards in a multi-year agreement announced today by John W. Styll, president/CEO of Gospel Music Association (GMA) and Charles Humbard, founder and president, Gospel Music Channel (GMC).

The Dove Awards, gospel music’s biggest night of the year featuring artists from every style of gospel/Christian music coming together for a night of music and celebration, will be seen live across the country on GMC beginning with the 39th Annual Doves on Wednesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. (ET).  The Dove Awards have aired in national syndication, but have not broadcast live since 2002.

Gospel Music Channel also announced today that The American Bible Society will be the presenting sponsor of the 2008 telecast, with an option to remain through the length of the agreement.  The American Bible Society is also the designated charity of the 39th Annual GMA Dove Awards.

“Gospel Music Channel is the perfect partner for GMA and the Doves.  We share a similar approach to presenting gospel music to the world and the Dove Awards is GMA’s primary vehicle in that endeavor,” said Styll.  “With their ever-increasing distribution, we are excited to grow the profile of the Dove Awards as the channel grows.”

“Gospel/Christian Music’s biggest night now has a dedicated home on gospel/Christian Music fans’ favorite television network,” commented Humbard. “Our relationship with the GMA dates back to the launch of Gospel Music Channel, including our licensing of the Dove’s library from which we produce our popular Best of The Doves series, and this is a natural next step.  The Dove Awards live telecast will be a centerpiece of GMC’s schedule for years to come and we’ll build programming, marketing and PR events around it to elevate it even further.”  

Dr. Paul Irwin, President and CEO of The American Bible Society added, “The American Bible Society is honored to be in partnership with the 39th Annual Dove Awards and the Gospel Music Channel.  Both of these organizations help support the Christian music industry and present the life-changing message of the Bible through song.”

In addition to the television network agreement, nominations for the 39th Annual GMA Dove Awards were announced today at a press conference hosted by Dove and GRAMMY-winning artist Michael W. Smith and host of Gospel Music Channel’s weekly original series The Kitchen Sink, Elle Duncan.  Nominated for the Dove Award for Artist of the Year are Casting Crowns, The Clark Sisters, Natalie Grant, Point Of Grace, Skillet, tobyMac and Chris Tomlin.  Mark Hall of Casting Crowns led the diverse field with six nominations (Casting Crown also had four nods).  Other multiple nominees include David Crowder*Band, Jeremy Camp, Ernie Haas & Signature Sound and Ricky Skaggs. The complete nominations list is at www.doveawards.com.

The 39th Annual GMA Dove Awards will be handed out at the Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry House.  While the awards are the purpose of the show, music performances will definitely share center stage at the Dove Awards, showcasing some of gospel music’s hottest and most diverse artists.  In addition to the live broadcast, GMC will present back-to-back encore broadcasts that night and additional re-airings following.

About GMA:

Founded in 1964, the Gospel Music Association serves as the face and voice for the gospel/Christian music community and is dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the gospel through music of all styles including pop, rock, praise & worship, black gospel, R&B, hip hop, southern gospel, country, and more.  The GMA community consists of 4,000 members including agents, artists, church leaders, managers, promoters, radio personnel, record company executives, retailers, songwriters and other industry visionaries.  The GMA produces the GMA Dove Awards, GMA Music Week, GMA Music in the Rockies, and the GMA Academy.  For more information, please visit www.gospelmusic.org.

About GMC:

Gospel Music Channel (www.gospelmusicchannel.com) is the nation’s first and only 24/7 television network devoted to the uplifting, inspiring and diverse music that is gospel/Christian music. GMC is one of the fastest-growing cable channels in television today; the network doubled availability in 2007 alone and is now carried in all ten of the top ten markets, and 23 of the top 25.

About American Bible Society:

Since 1816, The American Bible Society has made the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford so all people may experience its life-changing message.  For more information, visit www.Bibles.com.  




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